Valtteri Bottas believes his run to a lowly fifth place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix “sums up” his 2018 Formula 1 season.

Bottas has endured a difficult campaign and largely played a supporting role to teammate Lewis Hamilton’s championship bid, having fallen out of contention himself earlier in the year.

The Finn started on the front row but faded in the second half of the season finale, dropping behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, with the pair making contact as they battled for position.

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“I think that race sums up my season pretty well,” Bottas said.

“It started well but then turns to… it. Not ideal.

“It was feeling good, the pace was good, started to have some lock ups and losing ground after that. I touched with Max [Verstappen] and had a slow puncture I think.”

A run of four successive fifth place finishes saw Bottas ultimately end up dropping to fifth in the drivers’ standings in a winless season, while Hamilton recorded 11 victories en route to his fifth title triumph.

It is a scenario that Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reckons has taken its toll on Bottas as the year has gone on.

Asked if his attentions have now turned to making improvements for 2019, Bottas replied: “For sure it has been on my mind but after this kind of season I don’t have the energy to look too far away.

“I’m just going to take it easy for a while and then I start to look forward. For now it’s just difficult to see the positives but I will.”

 

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